One of the handful of restricted free agents who did not sign before the lockout began on Sept. 15 was Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche. The 21-year old center who scored 18 goals and 55 points last season has finally inked a multi-year deal. The only catch is that it's in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
On Friday, the team announced that O'Reilly would be joining his brother, Cal, and Evgeni Malkin, in Metallurg after signing a two-year deal. But like other NHLers signing deals in Europe, he has an out-clause for his unique situation.
From Ria Novosti:
"It has been agreed by mutual consent that if Ryan is offered a contract on more lucrative terms in the National Hockey League, Metallurg will not interfere in that contract being concluded," the team said in a website statement.
Metallurg did not say how much O'Reilly will be paid in Russia.
Metallurg currently sit fourth in the KHL's Eastern Conference.
How many more NHL players will venture to Europe now that the latest round of CBA talks have broken up? And will Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby finally make the jump? Switzerland appears to be the place where he'll land if he does go, but as he told media this morning after skating in Pittsburgh, "At the end of the day, I'm a hockey player. This is getting ridiculous." Frustration has set in.
On Thursday night, after negotiations had broken off, Crosby told Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review that he was holding off on making a decision on Europe because he felt the two sides were close to a deal.
Time is running out to save the season and we'll likely get more "the two sides touched base over the weekend" news in the coming days, but if they're as close as many make them out to be, a couple days break and right back at it next week would be an ideal scenario for everyone.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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- Metallurg Magnitogorsk